A saintly Fool for Christ in the heart of Athens (Part 6)

"Three days later, I moved into the apartment. Crazy John had helped me carry all my things. And when the transporter purposely dropped an innuendo because of my behaviour and the manner that I spoke, Crazy John stunned him, by pointing out to him that, as a person who systematically lived adulterously and behaved brutally towards his own two children, he had no right to make such remarks about me. The transporter was shocked by these revealing words, and he immediately stopped his sarcasm. I of course was under the impression that the two of them were acquainted, but was taken aback when the transporter turned towards Crazy John as he was leaving, and said:
"What are you anyway? Some kind of charmed one?"
"Yes George, I have been 'charmed' - by our Christ's love", the fool replied.
He even asked the transporter to stop sorrowing Christ, because, in spite of his overall behaviour, Christ had healed his daughter Theodora from a very serious ailment. George then departed, with his head lowered..... He is the gentleman who is sitting over there with his wife, and he can confirm the incident I just described.  I was impressed by that dialogue, but at the time I had dismissed it as the ravings of a fool.
So, on the evening of that same day, I dressed up in women's clothes as I normally did, and I went to a familiar transvestite haunt, on the main highway. You can imagine my surprise, when I spotted Crazy John watching me from the opposite corner of the block. The thought crossed my mind that he was seeking erotic companionship. But then, how did he find me?... The fool must have followed me (I thought to myself), and now he would go and tell what he saw to old Chrysoula... Oh well, I guess I will be searching for accommodation again... As all these thoughts were running through my mind, a prospective "customer" stopped in front of me. Just then, like a coiled spring, the fool jumped up and started to yell from across the road:
"He's got AIDS!!  He's sick and he will pass it on to you!!  Go away!! Go away!!"

Prayer to the Guardian Angel

O Angel of God, my holy guardian, given to me from heaven, enlighten me this day, and save me from all evil. Instruct me in doing good deeds, and set me on the path of salvation. Amen.
O Angel of Christ, holy guardian and protector of my soul and body, forgive me everything wherein I have offended you every day of my life, and protect me from all influence and temptation of the Evil One. May I never again anger God by my sins. Pray for me to the Lord, that He may make me worthy of the grace of the All-Holy Trinity, and of the blessed Mother of God, and of all the saints. Amen.


Sunday of the Myrrh-bearing Women

Christ is Risen! This is the third Sunday since Pascha, the Sunday of the Myrrh-bearing Women, and again our Church has the opportunity to praise…who else? The Risen Christ. It also celebrates the memory of those who witnessed the burial and Resurrection of our Lord, to assure us as it did on Thomas Sunday, of the Lord’s Resurrection which is the foundation of our faith and of our souls.

Here, from St Mark’s Gospel, which is read in Churches today, we read about the witnesses to Christ’s burial first, especially about St Joseph of Arimathea, who, on Holy Friday night, dared to go to Pilate and begged for the body of Jesus to bury it. We must admire the boldness of Joseph who was an important and official member of the Sanhedrin and a man of virtue and kindness and love and riches. He had a great social standing and was very moral. But he did not count this to be as important as his love for Christ who was dead. As the Gospel tells us, he too expected the Kingdom of God. Seeing its leader dead, he dared to ask permission from Pilate. Pilate gave it, having first been assured of Jesus’ death, by the Centurion. We also have another witness for Christ’s death, from the Myrrh-bearing women who were watching from afar.
Pilate gave the body to Joseph who loved Jesus Chris and sacrificed much for Him. He bought a new linen cloth, took Him down from the Cross and put Him a his own new tomb, which was hewn out of rock, and which no-one had yet used. This is the sign and love of Divine Providence, because the soldiers were guarding the entrance to the tomb. No-one could enter from anywhere else because it was made of stone, so there was no chance that the body would be stolen by the Apostles or anyone else. They placed a huge stone at the entrance and then Joseph left, a sad and suffering man.
Those who loved Jesus more than anyone else, however, the Myrrh-bearers, His Mother and the other women – Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James - were watching the place where He had been buried. They waited the entire Sabbath (Saturday) which was a day of rest and on what to us is a Sunday, and very early in the morning they took sweet spices and dared to go to the tomb. On the way, their main thought was of the large stone as they did not care at all about the soldiers or the Jews. When one truly loves, love expels fear. But when they arrived, the stone had been moved by the Archangel. He looked young, as angels are immortal and do not age – as is the same for us when we die and will rise again on the Second Coming. This Angel spoke to them of the Resurrection. “You came here out of love and boldness. And I boldly and with love announce to you the Resurrection of the Lord. He is risen, He is not here. Go and meet Him and tell His disciples and Apostles and Peter that he will meet them in Galilee.
They left, but were afraid as the Resurrection was not a natural phenomenon. Unnatural things leave us fearful and in awe. They were also very excited though, because of the Resurrection. And they told no-one other than the disciples and the Apostles. These Myrrh-bearing Women became the vessels of great love, the Apostles of the Apostles and the Women who spread the Gospel news.

Joseph’s boldness and brave act and the great love shown by the Myrrh-bearing Women teach us one thing – that we must be bold in things that are important and to do them with love and sacrifice. Then we will succeed. And what is more, we will attain the Divine Kingdom.

Christ is Risen!

A saintly Fool for Christ in the heart of Athens ( Part 5 )

 He begged for alms, to give them to others...
There are poor and unemployed who ask for help every day, but nobody can ever know what diamonds and holy souls are hidden behind every beggar that we meet.
He then went on to describe the incident with the money that he gathered from begging and deposited inside the charity box, which we described earlier on. I have many things to tell you, dear Christians, because I believe that the riddle has now been solved, and for this, I must thank mister Anastasy. I will narrate on ly one incident, and then I will let mister Anastasy take over.
"One afternoon, Crazy John was standing in front of the icon of the Holy Mother. I was in the office. I could hear him talking and I could hear -without seeing- that he was conversing with a woman, I paid no attention. When I came out of the office, I could see only Crazy John, and there was nobody else inside the church. The sacristan was away on an errand. Crazy John approached me and, after prostrating himself before me as he usually did, he said:
--'Father, you should go to Mrs.Stamata after Vespers. She is waiting for you to give her Holy Communion because her hours are numbered and she may not make it through tonight."

'Do not touch me...'(Μὴ μοῦ ἅπτου…)Poem

Written by Timothy Jeffries Johnson

It is not you.
You were never so clear
Though I, never so dull, so spent.
It is not you
Here, where you cannot be.
The hair isn’t right, the
Clothes, the incomprehensible,
Inexcusable radiance
At this moment, of all moments.
You, you have already left,
Where leaving was not foreseen;
You have left me, lost.
It is not you—who mocks grief and takes
My best, my only consolation.
The stance is different,
The words, impossible:
So much like your words
Your voice,
That voice which cut my heart—
But it cannot be you.
Seven foes have feared you;
Only I remain, who
Know nothing but love
And would love you,
Will love you—
If it were only you.
But it cannot…
It ca—

This poem was written by Timothy Jeffries Johnson, an Orthodox poet in the United Kingdom, on 2nd August 2009. It has been published on Monachos.net for Pascha 2011 with the author's permission.


Sunday of the Myrrh -bearing Women

Anthony Bloom (Metropolitan of Sourozh (1914- 2003))

In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
We remember today the Myrrh-bearing women, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, people who in the course of the Gospel are hardly mentioned, yet who, when Christ was seemingly defeated, when death, rejection, betrayal and hatred had conquered, proved to be people of faithfulness and courage, the faithfulness of the heart and the courage that can be born only of love. At the moment of the Crucifixion all the Apostles had fled save one, John, who stood at the foot of the Cross with the Mother of God. Everyone else had abandoned Christ, only a small group of women stood at a short distance from the Cross, and when He had died, they came to anoint His Body which Joseph of Arimathea had sought from Pilate, unafraid of being recognised as a disciple, because in life and in death love and faithfulness had conquered.
Let us reflect on this. It is easy to be Christ's disciples when we are on the crest of the wave, in the security of countries where no persecution, no rejection is endured, no betrayal can lead us to martyrdom, or simply to becoming the victims of mockery and rejection.

A saintly Fool for Christ in the heart of Athens (Part 4)

The fool's last letter...
He then pulled young Dimitri towards him and gave him a kiss, while patting him on the head.  His mother Polyxeni and her husband Panagiotis who were witnessing the scene were obviously emotionally charged.  Mrs Polyxeni then decided to say her part.
--"To us, Crazy John was the support of our family. He was the one who contributed towards us making the about-face towards Christ. Our life changed, and he made us partakers of the miracle of salvation. He brought blessings into our home...
To me, Panagiotis and my children, he was a friend and a brother. As his brothers therefore, we decided earlier on to suggest to you all that we get together next Saturday at our parish to perform the 3rd day memorial service and then you all come to our place to eat with us, to honour his memory."
Mrs Polyxeni's suggestion was welcomed by all of us. Mister Anastasy in fact spoke up again, to add that it would be good to continue the impromptu discussion that had begun in the Memorial Service Hall of the Cemetery, so he proposed to all the people who were present to write down their own experiences with Crazy John during their contacts with him.
Father Dimitri who happened to find himself among the mourners, addressed Mrs Polyxeni and said:
--"I never got to meet the departed brother John - that fool for Christ - however, I would like to ask you, if possible and if you have no objections, if I could come to your house and listen to this blessed expose of miraculous events."


A saintly Fool for Christ in the heart of Athens (Part 3)

Holy souls live among living humans...
"I was under the impression that mister John was a theologian-professor. I surmised that, from his profound theological but equally simplified analyses.  He knew the entire Holy Bible by heart, and he would exhort me with faith to read one or two pages every day, from the Bible that he himself had given me as a gift.  He even counselled me to kneel before the icon of the Holy Mother every day and describe in detail the day's joys, sorrows and problems.
He used to say "Dear little Calliope, ask our Holy Mother to become your best friend and you will see everything changing around you. Our kind Mother is the kindest Mother of all, the kindest sister, the kindest friend. Talk to Her - She listens..."
Last night, when I rang up mister John and a gentleman who picked up the phone told me that mister John had died and informed me about the funeral, I felt as though I had just lost my father...
Mister Anastasy suddenly jumped up and asked:
--"When did you ring up?"  
--"Last night, around 8pm.  I wanted to ask him if he was going to come this Sunday when it is my shift, because I have to confess that I trusted  mister John more than anyone else - even more than my own parents..."
--"But the apartment was locked since the day before yesterday, and I'm the only one who has keys to it", mister Anastasy said, mystified.. 
So he turned to the others in the room and asked if anyone else had keys. The replies were all negative...
--"But the voice on the phone sounded so much like mister John's. I just assumed it was a relative of his. But now that you mention it, I remember that he called me "little Calliope" over the phone - and he was the only one who called me by that name! Its just that at the time, I was so upset by the news of his death, that I didn't pay special attention, when I heard the following: 
--"And now little Calliope, you will be looking after the children on your own, because your mister John has passed away, and can no longer visit you as a clown..." he said to me over the phone!
I assumed that his next of kin were aware of this activity of his, so I didn't take any notice of those words... I am only now finding out that he had no relatives, and I don't know what to say..."
Just then, father Dimitri who was observing everything in silence while seated at a nearby table, stood up and exclaimed:
"This man is a Saint !!!"

"I have seen servants on horses, while princes walk on the ground like servants." - Ecclesiastes 10:7


A saintly Fool for Christ in the heart of Athens (Part 2)

He saved a woman from the deadly sin of adultery...
Nicoletta then took a long sip of coffee and began to tell her story with Crazy John... 
"One evening" she said "perhaps ten or more years ago, I saw a young man wandering aimlessly in our neighborhood. I watched him purposely, because I thought he was a burglar. Suddenly, I noticed Crazy John coming out of his building in a hurry and quickly walking in the direction of the only ground-floor house in the neighborhood, where a four-member family was living as tenants.
The fool sat himself squarely on the steps of the front yard, and began to chant the hymns to the Panaghia out loud. He especially liked to chant  "O Virgin pure...."
Two hours went by, but the fool continued to chant hymns. I went out and told him to stop. Then I noticed the young man walk hurriedly away.  The fool got up and went inside the house. I followed him out of curiosity, to see what was going on.  I must admit that my mind went to something sinister. I rang the doorbell and a young woman opened the door.
Crazy John was seated at the kitchen table, eating something the young woman had served him.  Next to him stood her five year old son. Turning to the boy, the fool began to tell him that one of God's ten commandments is the one that says "Thou shalt not commit adultery".

Icon - Holy images

My grandmother told me

To have a place to sleep is called "HOME"
To have someone to care and love you is
called "FAMILY" ...
To have them both is a


A saintly Fool for Christ in the heart of Athens (Part 1)

This excerpt was taken from the newly-circulated book about Crazy John, a modern-day ”Fool for Christ
"Foolishness for Christ" was always appreciated as one of the most moving chapters in the voluminous Book of Saints of our Orthodox Church. One more pebble that was added to this chapter is the history that a humble levite of the Gospel who lives in the blessed mountains of Agrafa in Northern Greece narrated to us.
His narration pertained to a contemporary "fool for Christ", who lived in one of the many faceless, inaccessible and remote neighborhoods of Athens.
Crazy John - who is the central character of his narration - lived in a tiny, humble apartment that he had inherited from his mother; one of 20 apartments that comprised the condominium building.  He worked at the neighborhood bakery and began work at daybreak. From that bakery where he worked, he would customarily fill two bags with loaves of bread and bread rolls every day, and would rush to distribute them to the elderly men, women and students in his neighborhood.
«Here you are - I thought I might give you some freshly-baked bread, a gift from mister Apostoly the baker, so that you will commemorate him in your prayers" he would say.
The truth was that Crazy John would use up a large part of his wages to provide bread to the poor of his neighborhood.  He would tell mister Apostoly that he was only helping out some sick friends, and that he was being paid for his trouble...

But how did he know who the poor in his neighborhood were?  
Well, he made it a habit to indiscriminately ring the doorbells, not only in his own condominium, but also in neighboring apartment buildings. He would introduce himself to everyone and would ask them if they needed anything that he could help them with:


Thomas Sunday

2nd Sunday of Pascha; Thomas Sunday (HTML format)
2nd Sunday of Pascha; Thomas Sunday (HTML format)
Also in Format: Word DOC
2nd Sunday of Pascha; Thomas Sunday (mp3 format)
Two ways to be at peace
John 20:19-31
2nd Sunday of Pascha; Thomas Sunday (mp3 format)
Two parts to our story.
John 20:19-31
2nd Sunday of Pascha; Thomas Sunday (mp3 format)
Saint Thomas Sunday
Realism About The Resurrection
John 20:19-31
2nd Sunday of Pascha; Thomas Sunday (mp3 format)
Why are the altar doors open on pascha?
When are they closed and what does it mean?
2nd Sunday of Pascha; Thomas Sunday (mp3 format)
Thomas Sunday
"Believing disbelief" is the most important part of the story.
John 20:19-31

Andreas Miaoulis

Miaoulis was born in Hydra in 1769 and died in Athens in 1835. He was from a naval family and entered into the trade very young, he became prosperous and built a large Corvette in Venice in 1802 and in 1804 he acquired the fireship "Heracles". He quickly earned everyone's respect with his brave actions against Algerian pirates who infested the Aegean Sea. In September, 1821 he ...was appointed Second-in-Command to the admiral Tobazes, while in February of 1822 he succeded him in the command of the fleet, following a series of successful skirmishes with the Turks. Miaoulis, in September 1822 vanquished the turkish fleet in Heli, near Nafplion. In October 1823, he won the naval battles of Artemisio and Chios and on August, 1824 he fought the historic Naval battle of Gerontas bay in Minor Asia against turkoegyptian fleet under admiral Givraltaris. In 1825 he defeated the Egyptian fleet. In 1832 he went to Munich as head of the delegation that offered Otto of Bavaria the crown. Otto later appointed him Commander of the fleet with the rank of Vice-Admiral.


Easter Orthodox Song - Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!

People rejoice, all nations listen:
     Christ God is risen! Let us rejoice!
Dance all ye stars and sing all ye mountains:
     Christ God is risen! Let us rejoice!
Whisper ye woods and blow all ye winds:
     Christ God is risen! Let us rejoice!
O seas proclaim and roar all ye beasts:
     Christ God is risen! Let us rejoice!
Buzz all ye bees and sing all ye birds:
     Christ God is risen! Let us rejoice!
O little lambs rejoice and be merry:
     Christ God is risen! Let us rejoice!
Nightengales joyous, lending your song:
Christ God is risen! Let us rejoice!
Ring, O ye bells, let everyone hear:
Christ God is risen! Let us rejoice!
All angels join us, singing this song:
     Christ God is risen! Let us rejoice!
Come down ye heavens, draw near the earth:
     Christ God is risen! Let us rejoice!
Glory to Thee, God Almighty!
     Christ God is risen! Let us rejoice!
Glory to Thee, God Almighty!
     Christ God is risen! Let us rejoice!



Christ is Risen! It is the Great Sunday of Pascha today and all of creation rejoices. The eternal (never waning) light has reached everywhere. To Hades, earth and heaven. Christ, who is the Light of the world, has risen from the dead, conquered Hades and death, and Satan and sin. From there on, the future belongs to Love, to Light, to Justice and to Paradise. The light of the Resurrection shines in and illumines every heart and every being which searches for the truth, for God and its true home.

The Holy Gospel extract read at the Divine Liturgy of the Resurrection refers to the pre-eternal existence of the Son and Word of God and His divinity. By the strength of His divinity, the Son of God resurrected the Son of man. This is a great miracle. The pre-eternal Word was, is and will be the Light, the light of the world, the light of our souls. This Light became incarnate and most ill-intentioned people, who are envious and greedy and selfish, did not accept this light. They preferred the darkness because that is what makes them comfortable. This is the greatest injustice for mankind and the greatest condemnation for his life.

God prepared the people of the time of His incarnation through St John the Forerunner, who was not himself the Light, but came to witness to the Light, to Christ. John spoke of important things and brought people to the great Light, to Christ. He prepared them to receive Him through repentance, love and kindness. “And to those who received Him, the Risen Christ, God gave authority to become His children”, we read in the Pascha Sunday Gospel. They became enlightened children of the Church. Christ had also told His disciples that “you are the light of the world”. And it is true that Christians are the light of the world. They, too, as second lights, illumine the darkness of souls and everywhere and at all times bring the divine Light to the lives of others, that un-waning light of the Resurrection.

The Holy Gospel continues, telling us that the Law was given through Moses. However, Grace and Truth was given by Jesus Christ. The eternal light of the Resurrection is the greatest grace for man, it is Truth itself for us, because when we lost Paradise we lost everything, entered into darkness, forgetfulness and oblivion. Christ came and lifted this forgetfulness – that is what truth is, a lifting of forgetfulness – and again illumined us and leads us again to Paradise.

The days which man is passing through, as also our beloved homeland, are difficult and distrustful. However, once again this year, the light of the Resurrection has risen, that eternal light of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us all turn to It. East and West and the length and breadth of the earth and let us fall at the feet of the Risen Christ and let us ask Him to help us to know Him, to keep His light close to us and to experience the power of His Resurrection.

Christ is Risen! Many years!


A story from mount Athos

(....) He has told him that if he saw a sea storm and the ship was in jeopardy, he should take the candle of Saint Nicolas and spill it out in the sea to calm it. One year, at Holy Week, father Chrisostomos went to the sea to see if he had caught fish. It was very stormy, and a little ship struggled with the waves. So he took Saint's Nicolas candle went to the moor and spilled the oil in the sea. In a while the air stopped blowing and the sea calmed. The ship went to Vatopedi, unloaded and returned to Stauronikita's moor unloading many blessings and gratitude to Saint Nicolas that saved them.

Translation by Anthony Sc.


The Great Schema. (Monk/Nun)

The ανάλαβος (Analab[v]os), which is the distinctive garment of a monk or a nun tonsured into the highest grade of Orthodox monasticism, the Great Schema, is adorned with the instruments of the Passion of Christ. It takes its name from the Greek αναλαμβάνω (“to take up”), serving as a constant reminder to the one who wears it that he or she must “take up his cross daily” (St. Luke 9:23). The ornately-plaited Crosses that cover the Analabos. the Polystavrion (πολυσταύριον, from πολύς, “many,” and σταυρός, “Cross”)—a name often, though less accurately, also applied to the Analabos—reminds the monastic that he or she is “crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20):
With regard to each image on the Analabos, the rooster represents “the cock [that] crew” (St. Matthew 26:74; St. Mark 14:68 Luke 22:60; St. John 18:27) after Saint Peter had “denied…thrice” (St John 13:38) Him Who lamented over Jerusalem: “How often have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (St. Matthew 23:37)
The pillar represents the column to which Pilate bound Christ “when he…scourged Him” (St. Mark 15:15) “by Whose stripes we were healed” (Isaiah 53:5; I St. Peter 2:24).


Lazarus Saturday

Lazarus and his sisters Martha and Mary, the friends of the Lord Jesus, had given Him hospitality and served Him many times (Luke 10:38-4z; John 12:2-3). They were from Bethany, a village of Judea. This village is situated in the eastern parts by the foothills of the Mount of Olives, about two Roman miles from Jerusalem. When Lazarus - whose name is a Hellenized form of "Eleazar," which means "God has helped," became ill some days before the saving Passion, his sisters had this report taken to our Saviour, Who was then in Galilee. Nonetheless, He tarried yet two more days until Lazarus died; then He said to His disciples, "Let us go into Judea that I might awake My friend who sleepeth." By this, of course, He meant the deep sleep of death. On arriving at Bethany, He consoled the sisters of Lazarus, who was already four days dead. Jesus groaned in spirit and was troubled at the death of His beloved friend. He asked, "Where have ye laid his body?" and He wept over him. When He drew nigh to the tomb, He commanded that they remove the stone, and He lifted up His eyes, and giving thanks to God the Father, He cried out with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth." And he that had been dead four days came forth immediately, bound hand and foot with the grave clothes, and Jesus said to those standing there, "Loose him, and let him go." This is the supernatural wonder wrought by the Saviour that we celebrate on this day.
According to an ancient tradition, it is said that Lazarus was thirty years old when the Lord raised him; then he lived another thirty years on Cyprus and there reposed in the Lord. It is furthermore related that after he was raised from the dead, he never laughed till the end of his life, but that once only, when he saw someone stealing a clay vessel, he smiled and said, "Clay stealing clay." His grave is situated in the city of Kition, having the inscription: "Lazarus the four days dead and friend of Christ." In 890 his sacred relics were transferred to Constantinople by Emperor Leo the Wise, at which time undoubtedly the Emperor composed his stichera for Vespers, "Wishing to behold the tomb of Lazarus . . ."

Apolytikion in the First Tone
In confirming the common Resurrection, O Christ God, Thou didst raise up Lazarus from the dead before Thy Passion.  Wherefore, we also, like the children, bearing the symbols of victory, cry to Thee, the Vanquisher of death:  Hosanna in the highest; blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord.

Kontakion in the Second Tone
Christ, everyone's joy, the truth, the light, life, the resurrection of the world, has by His goodness appeared to those on earth. He is the archetype of the resurrection, granting divine forgiveness to all.

Palm Sunday

On Sunday, five days before the Passover of the Law, the Lord came from Bethany to Jerusalem. Sending two of His disciples to bring Him a foal of an ass, He sat thereon and entered into the city. When the multitude there heard that Jesus was coming, they straightway took up the branches of palm trees in their hands, and went forth to meet Him. Others spread their garments on the ground, and yet others cut branches from the trees and strewed them in the way that Jesus was to pass; and all of them together, especially the children, went before and after Him, crying out: "Hosanna: Blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord, the King of Israel" (John 12:13). This is the radiant and glorious festival of our Lord's entry into Jerusalem that we celebrate today.

The branches of the palm trees symbolize Christ's victory over the devil and death. The word Hosanna means "Save, I pray," or "Save, now." The foal of an ass, and Jesus' sitting thereon, and the fact that this animal was untamed and considered unclean according to the Law, signified the former uncleanness and wildness of the nations, and their subjection thereafter to the holy Law of the Gospel.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
As by baptism we were buried with Thee, O Christ our God, so by Thy Resurrection we were deemed worthy of immortal life; and praising Thee, we cry:  Hosanna in the highest; blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord.

Kontakion in the Plagal of the Second Tone
In Heaven, He is seated upon a Throne and on earth He rides upon a foal. O Christ our God, accept the praise of the Angels and the hymn of the Children who cry out to You, "Blessed are You who comes to recall Adam."


Symbols of the Evangelists

 The four Evangelists are represented by four animals, it was considered that to them the prophecy referred to the prophet Ezekiel (A, 5-14). According to this the Prophet saw God sitting in cherouvika throne and the angels in the form of four animals (human, lion, calf and eagle) to sing: "Holy, holy, holy Lord Sabaoth 'full sky and the earth's your glory. "
The interpretation of this allegory of fathers who were involved in the correlation of Persons, has not always had the same effect. Finally accepted in the East and West's interpretation of St. Jerome, as explained below.
Matthew (of Twelve, November 16).
The first Evangelist, where painting, appears to have close to a human form (man, the King of creation) the first of the symbolic animals of Ezekiel. The symbolism is mentioned in Matthew because his Gospel begins the genealogy of the flesh of Jesus Christ.
Mark (student of St. Peter, April 25).
The Gospel is symbolized and painting a lion (the king of animals), the second of animals of prophecy. The symbolism is mentioned in Mark, or because his Gospel begins with John the Baptist living in deserts, where lions live, either because a key feature of the Gospel of the kingdom of Christ and the animal is basil.
Luke (disciple of St. Paul, October 18).
The third of the symbolic animals of the ox (the king of pet) , attributed to the Evangelist Luke, and with it symbolized.
John (of Twelve, May 8).
The soarer is Gospel could not only be symbolized by the eagle (the king of birds) .
Let all read, listen to these blessings given to us, by our beloved Evangelists.


Passing the Purple Hat to You

IN honour of women's history month and in memory of Erma Bombeck who lost her fight with cancer.
Pass this on to five women that you want watched over
If you don't know five women to pass this on to, one will do just fine.
 (written after she found out she was dying from cancer).

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.
I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.
I would have talked less and listened more.
I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded..
I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.
I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.
I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.
I would have sat on the lawn with my grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life.
I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.
Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, 'Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.' There would have been more 'I love you's' More 'I'm sorry's.'

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute.look at it and really see it . live it and never give it back. STOP SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF!!!

 Don't worry about who doesn't like you, who has more, or who's doing what
 Instead, let's cherish the relationships we have with those who do love us.

. . . .. IN MEMORY .. . . .

These are the colours that represent the different cancers
All you are asked to do is keep this circulating, even if it's to one more person, in memory of anyone you know who has been struck by cancer.

A Candle Loses Nothing by Lighting Another Candle.
Please Keep The Candle Going!

This one I do ask that you please send on. 
By sending this on, you will think and realise how  you've been blessed, up until now.

This is a disease which affects all families... no one is exempt!


By Rev. John S. Romanides (+2001).

Human beings can have two kinds of faith. The first kind of faith, which has its seat in the mind, is the reasonable faith of acceptance. In this case, a person rationally accepts something and believes in what he has accepted, but this faith does not justify him. When Holy Scripture says, man is saved by faith alone (Eph 2:8), it does not mean that he is saved merely by the faith of acceptance. There is, however, another kind of faith, the faith of the heart. It is referred to in this way because this kind of faith is not found in the human reason or intellect, but in the region of the heart. This faith of the heart is a gift of God that you will not receive unless God decides to grant it. It is also called inner faith, which is the kind of faith that the father of the young lunatic in the Gospel asked Christ to give him when he said, Lord, help my unbelief. (Mk 9:24). Naturally, the father already believed with his reason, but he did not have that deep inner faith that is a gift of God.
Inner faith is rooted in an (empirical) experience of grace. And since it is an experience of grace, what would this make inner faith as far as an Orthodox Christian is concerned? Inner faith is noetic prayer. When someone has noetic prayer in his heart, which means the prayer of the Holy Spirit in his heart, then he has inner faith. Through this kind of faith and by means of prayer, he beholds things that are invisible. When someone has this kind of vision, it is called theoria. Theoria, in fact, means vision.

As a rule, there are two ways for vision to take place.

When a person has not yet attained to theosis, it is still possible for him to see by means of the prayer that the Holy Spirit is saying within his heart. After attaining to theosis, however, he can see by means of theosis, in which both this inner faith (i.e., prayer of the heart) and hope are set aside, and only love for God remains (as a gift of God). This is what St. Paul means when he says: But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. (I Cor 13:10 & 13:13). Note that since faith and hope have fulfilled their purpose and man has reached the point of seeing God, the source of his faith and hope, he now simply knows and loves the One Who is Love.
When the perfect is come, faith and hope are thus done away, and only love remains. And this love is theosis. In theosis, knowledge comes to an end; prophecy is set aside; tongues, which are in noetic prayer, cease; and only love remains. St. Paul says this in passages of great clarity and beauty. The Church Fathers in turn offer interpretations of these subjects that are indisputably correct. These interpretations are found throughout the entire Philokolia.

Orthodox Heritage Vol. 10, Issue 05-04


Suggestions on what “To Do” During GREAT LENT:

 Read the following prayer daily throughout the Great Lent . . . it is called

The Lenten Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian:
* O Lord and Master of my life, take away from me the spirit of laziness, meddling, ambition and gossip.
* But give to me your servant, the spirit of chastity, humility, patience and love.
* Yes, Lord and King, grant me to see my own sins and faults, and not to judge my brother or sister, for you are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen.
Each Friday in Great Lent, we celebrate the service of Salutations to the Theotokos. This service are celebrated in the evenings. Make plans to go to these evening’s service.
Examine yourself to see if you have any grudge or bitterness in your mind towards anyone. Forgive them and reconcile with them. Perhaps the hardest part will be to truly forgive them in your heart. Ask God in prayer to help you forgive and attain inner peace.
Give the money you would have spent on a meal to someone in need.


Lenten Quotes:

“Fasting in respect of food is of no benefit for those who fail to fast with all their senses; for whosoever is successfully waging his battle must be temperate in all things.”
- St. Isidore of Pelusium
"Do not be ashamed to enter the Church to confess. Be ashamed when you sin but not when you repent." - St. John Chrysostom
 “It is folly to abstain all day long from food, but fail to abstain from sin and selfishness.” - St. John Chrysostom
 “Prayer is the test of everything. If prayer is right, everything is right.” - Bishop Theophan the Recluse
"Thirst after Jesus, and He will satisfy you with His love." - St. Isaac the Syrian
"Who is so great a God, as our God. You are the God, who alone does wonders." (from the Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers)
 “True fasting lies is rejecting evil, holding one's tongue, suppressing one's hatred, and banishing one's lust, evil words, lying, and betrayal of vows.” - St. Basil the Great
"Examine yourself, O soul, and see in what land your portion lies; and if you have crossed over to that field which bears a harvest of bitterness for those who till it, wail and cry aloud, with groaning and great affliction, those words which give rest to your God more than sacrifices and whole burnt offerings." - St. Isaac the Syrian
"Fasting is wonderful, because it tramples our sins like a dirty weed, while it cultivates and raises truth like a flower." - St. John Chrysostom
"Brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things" (Philippians 4:8)
"O Champion General, we your faithful inscribe to you the prize of victory as gratitude for being rescued from calamity, O Theotokos. But since you have invincible power, free us from all kinds of perils so that we may cry out to you: Rejoice, O Bride unwedded." (from the Akathist prayers)
"Within Your peace, O Lord, where all Your saints repose, give rest also to the souls of Your servants, for You alone are immortal." (from the Memorial Service)
"Seek nothing other than to fear Him, to love Him, and to walk in all His ways. This is your boast, and this is your God." - St. Gregory Palamas
"Do not say that it is impossible to receive the Spirit of God. Do not say that it is possible to be made whole without Him. Do not say that one can possess Him without knowing it. Do not say that God does not manifest Himself to man. Do not say that men cannot perceive the divine light, or that it is impossible in this age! Never is it found to be impossible, my friends. On the contrary, it is entirely possible when one desires it." - St. Symeon the New Theologian
"By fasting it is possible both to be delivered from future evils and to enjoy the good things to come. We fell into disease through sin; let us receive healing through repentance, which is not fruitful without fasting." - St. Basil the Great
"Through prayer we guard our chastity, control our temper and rid ourselves of vanity. It makes us forget injuries, overcomes envy, defeats injustice and makes amends
for sin... It will refresh you when you are weary and comfort you when you are sorrowful." - St. Gregory of Nyssa
 “Oh give thanks unto the Lord for He is good. For His mercy endures forever.” (Psalm 136:1)
"The pious youth within the furnace were rescued by the offspring of the Theotokos. He who was Prefigured then has been born on earth, and is gathering the entire universe to sing: Bless the Lord, all his works, and magnify him to the ages. Most-holy Theotokos, save us." (from the Akathist)
"In paradise of old the tree stripped me bare; for by giving me its fruit to eat, the enemy brought in death. But now the Tree of the Cross that clothes men with the garment of life has been set up on earth, and the whole world is filled with boundless joy. Beholding it venerated, O ye people, let us with one accord raise in faith our cry to God: His house is full of glory." (from Matins on the Sunday of the Holy Cross)
"Then the King will say to those at his right hand, 'Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.'" - Matthew 25:34-36
"In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength." - Isaiah 30:15
"Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you." - Proverbs 4:24
"If you receive the words of my commandment and hide them within yourself, your ear will be obedient to wisdom, and you will incline your heart to understanding." - Proverbs 2:1-2
"Your eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is sound, your whole body is full of light; but when it is not sound, your body is full of darkness. Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness." - Luke 11:34-35
"Keep your heart with all vigilance; for from it flow the springs of life." - Proverbs 4:23
"It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to thy name, O Most High; to declare thy steadfast love in the morning, and thy faithfulness by night." - Psalm 92:1-2
""For with God nothing will be impossible." And Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her." - Luke 1:37-38